Bat Family vs Batman (Batman 81)

As his run on the dark knight nears its end, Tom King begins to amp up the action in this fight fueled latest chapter. As Damien escapes from Thomas Wayne, we see the Bat Family team up to take down Thomas.

This sequence was one of the most entertaining of the chapter as we see Thomas brought to his knees, only to have a turn of events, resulting in a tragic moment in the fight.

Another great part in this latest chapter was Romita’s depiction of the opening fight with Batman and Catwoman. Wathcing the fluidity of Catwoman’s whip as she coils it around Grundy or seeing Batman dual wielding batarangs; both sequences looked well composed. Romita Jr’s ability to draw fight sequences and characters in moments of weakness (Thomas Wayne fight) is well done. Romita’s art this issue was well done.

Using a reveal for Clayface’s existence as an enem of the Bane controlled city was also an interesting choice. Clayface does tend to be used for the fact that he can become anyone, and he has had a series as a member of the bat team, but the reveal and takedown of Riddler by Clayface was still unexpected fo me. King’s decision to do so had no immediate giveaways, minus Batman mentioning he had an inside man in the city. Utilizing the character in the storyline to show that Batman had more help outside the Bat family and Catwoman was a good choice by King.

Having the Clayface reveal, nice fight choreography and an overall solid story; my only gripe with the latest issue is how long it took to get to this point. In previous issues, we saw Batman and Catwoman on vacation in Hawaii, or the two doing things that barely had a connection to the overarching story. This led to a lot slower pace in storytelling and an overall poor few chapters. Now that we are approaching the climax, King has shown his ability to bring a story together at the end to finish stronger than the middle of the series.

While I wouldn’t recommend picking up earlier issues of the series, This latest installment was a strong addition. Reading the series from chapters 80 onward is a good place to pick up the story again, especially with the current YoV storylines and their ties to Snyder’s run on Justice League.

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